About the Author: Adam Minter

Adam Minter is a columnist at Bloomberg Opinion where he writes about China, technology, and the environment He is the author of Junkyard Planet Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade, a critically acclaimed bestselling insider s account of the hidden world of globalized recycling, and the forthcoming Secondhand Travels in the New Global Garage Sale.Adam has covered the global recycling

➮ Secondhand  Read ➶ Author Adam Minter –
  • Hardcover
  • 320 pages
  • Secondhand
  • Adam Minter
  • English
  • 04 December 2017
  • 9781635570106

Secondhand Downsizing Decluttering A Parent S Death Sooner Or Later, All Of Us Are Faced With Things We No Longer Need Or Want But When We Drop Our Old Clothes And Other Items Off At A Local Donation Center, Where Do They Go Sometimes Across The Country Or Even Halfway Across The World To People And Places Who Find Value In What We Leave BehindIn Secondhand, Journalist Adam Minter Takes Us On An Unexpected Adventure Into The Often Hidden, Multibillion Dollar Industry Of Reuse Thrift Stores In The American Southwest To Vintage Shops In Tokyo, Flea Markets In Southeast Asia To Used Goods Enterprises In Ghana, And Along The Way, Minter Meets The Fascinating People Who Handle And Profit From Our Rising Tide Of Discarded Stuff, And Asks A Pressing Question In A World That Craves Shiny And New, Is There Room For It All Secondhand Offers Hopeful Answers And Hard Truths A History Of The Stuff We Ve Used And A Contemplation Of Why We Keep Buying , It Also Reveals The Marketing Practices, Design Failures, And Racial Prejudices That Push Used Items Into Landfills Instead Of New Homes Secondhand Shows Us That It Doesn T Have To Be This Way, And What Really Needs To Change To Build A Sustainable Future Free Of Excess Stuff

10 thoughts on “Secondhand

  1. Rachel Pollock says:

    This book is engrossing and eye opening I had no idea how extensive the secondhand industry is on a global scale, and to what extent discarded donated things get restored, refurbished, rebuilt, and resold the world over The author travels all over the globe, from the Goodwill distribution center in an Arizona town, to flea markets in Malaysia, to clothing recyclers in India, to computer electronics rebuilders in Ghana It s clear that the secondhand economy is sprawling, thriving, and important This book also made me think deeply about how i will deal with my own surplus property in future, what and where I will dispose of it through donation Highly recommend this book, particularly to readers interested in what happens to clothes that go to Goodwill but don t sell There s been some bad press about mass landfilling, and it s clear from Minter s research that such a thing is a last resort for all but the flimsiest fast fashion trash.I received an ARC from NetGalley for an unbiased review of Secondhand.

  2. Bandit says:

    Who knew there was such a thing as recycle themed journalism Well, there is, Adam Mitner s doing it And this is his second book on the matter, titled appropriately enough Secondhand Mitner was raised into a family of scrap dealers and spent years traveling the globe reporting on recycling industries and so on, which is to say the man is perfectly qualified to write this book about the second lives of all your crap You know, all those things you ve ever donated to a thrift shop and never thought twice about it well, this may not interest you But if you ve ever given a second thought to where your things might end up after you re done with them, you ll find this interesting Because there s an entire industry out there dedicated specifically to supporting the aphorism that one man s trash is another man s treasure It renews, reuses and recycles, it sells what s sellable, throws out what isn t and ships off tons of it across the seas to third world countries And developing world is making use, industry even, out of things we no longer want a thing to do with It s fascinating, really But mostly it s a somber sobering commentary of the disposable culture we live in Fast food, fast fashion, etc.all the things that shouldn t be fast, but are They create a culture of waste, where things aren t made to last, where repairs are made prohibitive enough as to encourage buying new or trading up, where planned obsolescence thrives It s a terrible way to live, but everyone is doing it, because it s easy and cheap and often both But not everyone, not really, not even everyone in the first world countries and this book offers different perspectives and examples of how to get around the sheeple way from start ups concentrating on repairs to practicing conscientious shopping and so on Mitner follows shipments of recyclable clothing and technology across the world to find out how developing nations utilize this refuse essentially to prove that it s salvageable and usable way past its arbitrary expiration dates In fact, Mitner even takes on the arbitrariness of expiration dates, baby car seats for instance, seemingly created to mainly encourage buying And that s the thing, isn t it, society that thrives on consumerism and materialistic values will do whatever it takes to sell The same competition that drives the costs down, also drives down the quality People buy things they don t need, end up with two much crap, downsize and then with space and money go right back to it And no amount of cutesy books and shows on minimalism is going to make a difference Maybe even this book won t make a difference, but it ll certainly educate the readers willing to be educated and that s a good thing And while personally through conscious choices and limitations I m not really the book s choice audience, it was nevertheless an interesting read Mitner is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic Virgil on this tour of secondhand underworld But very much a journalist throughout, meaning committed to presenting unbiased balanced accounts so that personality infused engaging ones In fact, the author s personality doesn t come out until the afterword, where among other things he lists the objects he s been tempted to buy secondhand on his travels for this book I do prefer personalized nonfiction, but to each his her own For me, It wasn t ideal, it went into entirely too many minute details about recycling processes, etc In fact, it would have made a great journalistic article or maybe a series of them, but for a book, interesting as it was, it wasn t all that engaging at times, dragged down by the minutiae instead of the grand scheme of things and at times it read very much like a well informed essay But the idea here was to educate the population of the prosperous countries with disposable incomes as to how their purchasing choices affect the environment and global economy and so on and largely it succeeds at the task I m too cynical to think it ll make a difference for any significant percentage of the population, but if it has any effect even on the microscale it s still a win Informed choices for the happier world and all that There are also some fascinating accounts of the strategies behind thrift store and secondhand retailers, might be of interest to anyone who s ever shopped in one Probably best not to read this in one sitting as I inexplicably did, it s too too much Thanks Netgalley.

  3. Randal White says:

    Secondhand, Travels In The New Global Garage Sale, is an in depth look at what happens to your stuff when you dispose of it Whether it be Goodwill, a downsizing service, or wherever The author travels all over, examining the industries that have popped up to utilize our cast offs The United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Africa, Southeast Asia, and on and on Whether it be used clothing in Africa, rag processors in Ohio, child safety seats in Mexico what a racket this has become, declaring older seats as defective , or electronics in Ghana It does one s heart good to see that others are utilizing the stuff we declare too old or obsolete The author s travels take him to many cottage industries, and he makes their work very interesting to read about The author also covers the planned obsolescence built into our products here in the U.S., and the outright sabotage of items by some of our most recognized companies shame on you, Apple All in all, this book really opened my eyes to an area that I did not even know existed It s a very interesting read And you will learn a lot

  4. Ginger Hudock says:

    If you have ever donated items to Goodwill or another thrift store and wondered what happened to them, then this book is for you This is a well done piece of journalism where the author follows items from thrift stores in the US to a number of final locations Some items are bought by Mexicans from a Goodwill near the Arizona border and then are resold in Mexico Other items, especially clothing, go to Canada where they are sorted by immigrants and the lightweight clothing is shipped to Africa or India for resale Appliances, electronics and cars are also shipped to Africa to be repaired and resold The author also visits Japan where there is a booming business cleaning out the houses of elderly or deceased people All along the way it is easy to see the value that is given by selling these excess items and how they are reused by many in less developed countries As someone who is trying to declutter and minimize future purchases, this was an excellent read The book is very well written and the style is engaging, particularly because of the first person stories and interactions with various people involved in the secondhand goods process all over the world.

  5. Susan says:

    I really enjoyed this book and it s caused me to rethink what I buy and what I donate to Good Will I now vow to to donate because others can better use things I am not using and otherwise letting clutter up my place Adam Minter is a great storyteller and follows the secondhand industry around the world I really appreciate that he calls out people in developed countries who don t think about the secondhand businesses that flourish in the developing world This book will be a big eye opener for many Americans and will bring about much good.

  6. Kristine says:

    Secondhand by Adam Minter is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late October.This book tells the outcome of donated items, the accumulation and redistribution of stuff, often with difficult resaleability the concepts include downsizing for senior citizens, sorters and adult children serving as gatekeepers and processors, an object s ultimate end of incineration, the difficulty of assigning value, based on brand, age, and quality, import export between countries that favor specific items, and the true lifespan of an item.

  7. Elizabeth Tai says:

    Disclaimer Adam is a personal friend and I received a copy for an honest review.I loved the book and couldn t put it down It was fascinating to explore the entire supply chain of the secondhand market, and how seemingly good movements such as banning plastic waste from the West has a surprisingly long term negative effect on the environment and on the economies of developing nations Basically, don t take things at face value there s to the recycling, secondhand business than meets the eye We need to move beyond reacting to well intentioned propaganda from green folks by banning things to really, really exploring how the world can manage stuff and all the things it s made of sustainably.

  8. Dale Dewitt says:

    I absolutely loved this book My wife and I made the decision to minimize our stuff and it is fascinating to find out there is an entire market for secondhand stuff and also to realize there is just too much stuff being purchased for the secondhand market to even make a dent in removing these items from the trash stream The people that Adam meets are wonderful in telling their stories a great read

  9. Maudaevee says:

    I thought this was a fascinating look at what happens to our stuff once it is no longer ours I did have a little incite into this topic as I was once an assistant manager at a thrift store but I learned much in this book.

  10. Jolene says:

    I love when a book can change your life This one definitely did that I am a big thrifter and frequent customer at Goodwill and other secondhand stores I had no idea how much work went into clearing out houses, sorting through donations, and what happens to those items after no one wants them It made me of aware of what I buy and what I donate I am conscience of what I will leave behind for my kids to sort through and I decided I don t want them to have to agonize over what to keep and what to throw away I plan to go through my things and give them away for others to enjoy instead of sitting on shelves or in boxes I have known that lots of donated clothes go to Africa to be resold but I had no idea about computer, televisions, phones, and appliances They are shipped all over the world where they are fixed and resold This is a fascinating book on an industry that thrives on humans need for wanting and wanting new My eyes have been opened up to focusing on people and less on stuff I have recommended this book to about everyone I know.